Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Former NCAA Skaters Pacing NHL Statistical Scrolls

Former NCAA players are doing a bang-up job so far in the 2013-14 NHL statistical race (all following stats from

Joe Pavelski (Wisconsin) of the San Jose Sharks is tied for second overall in the league with 28 goals, while right behind him is Phil Kessel (Minnesota) of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who has 27 scores so far on the season. Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith (Michigan State) leads all league blueliners, and is third among all players, with 44 assists.

Matt Niskanen (Minnesota-Duluth) of the Pittsburgh Penguins leads all NHL players with a plus-29 plus-minus ranking, while teammate Chris Kunitz (Ferris State) is tied for second overall with a plus-26 mark. Kunitz is also second in league annals with 11 power-play goals to date, with Pavelski one power-play tally behind him. Mike Santorelli (Northern Michigan) of the Vancouver Canucks is tied for the league lead with two overtime goals this winter.

Concerning shots on goals, Patrick Sharp (Vermont) of the Chicago Blackhawks is second overall with 216 shots, followed by Kessel in third place with 209. Ryan Kesler (Ohio State) of the Canucks is fifth with 188 shots, while Ryan Suter (Wisconsin) of the Minnesota Wild again leads all NHL skaters with an average ice time of 29:38 per contest.

As for goaltenders, Ben Bishop (Maine) of the Tampa Bay Lightning ranks first among all NHL netminders with a .933 save percentage, and is third overall with 26 victories, and tied for second with four shutouts. Cory Schneider (Boston College) of the New Jersey Devils is second among league backstops with a 1.86 goals-against average, and is followed in succession by Bishop with a 1.99 GAA, Ben Scrivens (Cornell) of the Edmonton Oilers with a 2.03 GAA, and Jonathan Quick (Massachusetts) of the Los Angeles Kings with a 2.05 GAA. Scrivens (.930) and Schneider (.927) also rank fourth and fifth overall, respectively, in save percent.

There’s just over a week remaining in NHL play before the Sochi Winter Olympic Games commence, which will shut the league down for a fortnight before the regular season starts up again on Feb. 25.

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